By Leah Pressman

This month, the California State Democratic Party holds its Assembly District Election Meetings (ADEMs) across the state.

Every two years, each State Assembly District elects fourteen delegates: seven “Self-Identified Female” and seven “Other than Self-Identified Female.” These delegates help determine the Party’s platform and endorsements. Simply put: ADEMs delegates shape what the California Democratic Party looks like.

For example, when you see a mailer that says “Isaac Bryan is endorsed for State Assembly by the California Democratic Party,” locally elected delegates along with party leaders, elected officials, and delegates appointed by elected officials made that decision. This is true for all State and national endorsements. Most people haven’t heard of Delegate elections, but all registered Democrats are eligible to vote.

Because the ADEMs is an internal party election not run by the government, voters must sign up on the party website. Only registered Democrats are eligible to participate.

Voting is underway. Voters who registered to vote by mail should have received ballots in the mail as they were sent out in the first week of the year. ​​There is a self-addressed return envelope included with the ballot, but voters must provide the postage, unlike a regular election. Another critical difference is that ballots will only be counted if they are received by January 31, not postmarked by then.

 The December 31 deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot has passed, but registration to vote in person is still open.  Click here to be able to fill out an in-person ballot on Saturday, January 21st, between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. at the Veterans’ Memorial Building Rotunda Room, 4117 Overland Avenue, Culver City 90230. 

The 55th Assembly District is represented in the State Assembly by Isaac Bryan. It encompasses parts of West and South L.A., including all of Culver City, Leimert Park, Mar Vista, and Palms. Fourteen ADEM candidates from across the district have united as the Forward 55 slate. They include seven Self-Identified Female candidates; Shetarrah Byfield, Mae Gates, Ilissa Gold, Olga Lexell, Leah Pressman, Pamela Sparrow, and Shannon Theus, and seven non-female candidates; Greg Bartlett, Mike Bonin, Herman Jones II, Dr. Daniel Lee, Patrick MacFarlane, Gus Sustaita, and Andrew Swetland. Each is a progressive Democratic activist with deep roots in the district.

The members of the Forward 55 share a commitment and a track record of fighting the influence of big money in politics and supporting progressive policies. They are a diverse group of local activists and former elected officials. Jeff Schwartz, President of the Culver City Democratic Club states, “These candidates represent our entire district, from Mar Vista to Leimert Park. They have demonstrated strong commitments to universal healthcare, workers’ rights, environmental justice, housing justice, and public safety for all, and will work with activists, party leaders, and elected officials to move our Party forward.”

Read about all of the candidates here

The Forward 55 slate has been endorsed by the Culver City Democratic Club, the Miracle Mile Democratic Club, the Stonewall Young Democrats, and Abundant Housing as well as Culver City Council Vice Mayor Yasmine-Imani McMorrin, Culver City Councilmember Freddy Puza, Burbank Mayor Konstantine Anthony and Burbank Vice Mayor Nick Schultz, former Culver City Mayors Alex Fisch and Meghan Sahli-Wells and others. Read about all of their endorsements here.

Image from Forward 55 Website —

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